During my 32 years of being employed in a St. Louis paint factory, I used nearly all my vacation time to explore the western part of the United States. Intrigued by the captivating history and wide variety of incredible landscapes, I systematically searched for where I wanted to live when I retired.
It was a lengthy but highly enjoyable process. And in 1998 when I was forevermore released from the ranks of the gainfully employed, I accomplished a thoroughly studied change of venue by moving to Flagstaff. That redeployment has proven to be the best decision of my life.
While participating in my pre-retirement exploration of the American West, I became interested in the Seattle area, where I hiked the many trails of Mount Rainier National Park, traveled via Washington State Ferries and walked the spectacular beaches of the Olympic Peninsula.
Although some of my friends claim I probably absorbed one fume too many while working all those years in a paint factory, I'm still curiously fascinated by bridges and have been all my life. And Seattle has a wealth of them from the Spokane Street Swing Bridge to the Arboretum Pedestrian Sewer Trestle.
But it's that colossal concrete ogre crouching underneath Seattle's Aurora Bridge that I believe to be extra special. It's a sculpture weighing 13,000 pounds that's 18 feet high and fondly known as the "Fremont Troll."
The astonished laughter generated by the humongous size of this unusual piece of public art reverts to chuckling amusement when visitors notice the giant's extended concrete hand is clutching a real Volkswagen Beetle it apparently snatched off the bridge. Clever indeed, Seattle, and enormously fun too.
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But wait! The reports from several Flagstaff residents about an exotic entity toting a custom-made walking stick and traveling south on the Karen Cooper FUTS have been verified as true. And when last seen, the blended rock and metal being was ambling in place just north of the Coconino Estates Park, which is still referred to as the "ditch pond" by many Flagstaffians.
This newest addition to our urban trail scenery is called "The Flagstonian" by its creator Joshua Meyer, a local blacksmith, painter and sculptor who constructed our latest piece of public art. I recently dropped by his work space and gallery, which is located at 2711 E. Lakin Drive. The shop is in the rear of the old Hunt's Hardware and Lumber building next to the parking lot.
I was greatly impressed by Joshua during my brief encounter with him and also the displays of his talent. Conversation with him is easy and pleasant plus the good humor residing in his personality is quickly communicated.
The welcomed traits of nature appreciated, human imagination and all the mysteries therein are an important part of his creative skills. I also liked the mischievous qualities that are often present in his work.
Check out the following link for more information: https//www.joshuameyerart.com/About/Deep-Thoughts/On-My-Projects/Meet-The-Flagstonians
Hopefully many more of Joshua Meyer's interesting abilities will appear along our treasured urban trail as well as elsewhere in Flagstaff. His ideals and ideas are a welcomed addition to the unique Flagstaff scene.